With the 2017 Bassmaster Elite Series season only a few weeks away, you'd better believe Zoneloc pro Alton Jones has his gear ready for battle this season.
One of Jones's favorite pieces of gear involves a Zoneloc Flippin' Hook with a Yum Dinger. In fact, it's always ready for use on the deck of Alton's tournament boat. Jones uses the big 6/0 Zoneloc Flippin' Hook and larger Yum Dinger specifically to catch big bass.
Zoneloc pro Alton Jones (Joel Shangle/BassFIRST)
"The 6-inch Yum Dinger rigged on a 6/0 Zoneloc Flippin' Hook is a favorite bass catching combination of mine," said Jones. "I like to use it throughout the year, but right now through the spawn is a terrific time for catching big bass with it."
"I always start with that offering," said Jones. "I believe the larger bait does attract bigger fish. That 6/0 hook with that super wide gap can get around the lip of the biggest bass. It is a terrific hook for chasing them."
Alton will use 50-pound braid with a 25-pound fluorocarbon leader. He then ties a snell knot to the hook. Usually it's fished weightless, but if the cover is thicker or a little deeper Jones will use up to a 1/8-ounce weight to get the bait down.
Let the bass tell you what to use.
"Although I like to fish the big bait, I will fish smaller baits," said Jones. "I let the bass tell me what they want. If I downsize to the 5-inch or 4-inch Yum Dinger, I will use the 4/0 offset Zoneloc.
"I still use pretty heavy line, though. I stick with 30-pound braid and a 15-to 20-pound fluorocarbon leader.
"Why use lightweight tackle if you can catch bass with the bigger stuff? Why get down and lip them when I can swing them into the boat?"
Regardless of the size of the bait, Alton's favorite colors are watermelon, watermelon candy, green pumpkin, green pumpkin with purple flake, and whenever he is in Florida, Junebug, because it always works.
Fish this combo like you are long-distance flipping.
"Unlike flipping close to the boat where you don't want a splash, you want a splash with this bait," said Jones. "It's almost like long-distance flipping.
"The big splash attracts bass, especially the bigger fish. They act different when they are 70-feet away from you as opposed to when they are 7-feet away and you need to make a silent entry into the water."